Practice Routines for AC Beginners
These practice routines were developed initially by the Association Croquet Regeneration Working Party.
Make sure that you are loosened up before you commence your practice. Set yourself a target for your practice and a time that you will spend on each phase.
Shooting and Roquets
Get two sets of balls and place four balls in a row and the other four in a row 2 yards away. Then try to hit the balls, one after the other. When you are 100% successful, increase the distance by one yard and repeat the exercise. If you start missing, decrease the distance until you are hitting them all again. In this way, you will determine the distance that you are confident of hitting. By determining the distance where you hit 4 out of 7 shots, you will ascertain your 50%+ confidence distance.
Important factors include: stalking every shot along the line, playing a consistent full stroke, and keeping your head down.
Know your own ratios. If you know how far your ball travels in relation to the croqueted ball, you will know when you need a drive, a stop-shot or a half-roll. Don't guess but know it. Take three markers out onto the lawn and play from one marker to the other two until you can consistently get each ball within a foot or two of the target markers, then move the targets.
Do this for small shots (useful for hoop approaches), and bigger ones (useful for sending a ball to your next hoop whilst going to another ball).
Repeat for each type of shot: drive, roll, half-roll, etc.
Practise from different angles and distances.
Practise approaches from a circle drawn around the hoop and from 1 - 3 yards away.
From behind the hoop try thick take-offs in order to move the croqueted ball to a desired position.
Establish a pioneer at your next hoop but one (e.g. if you are for hoop 1 your pioneer should be at hoop 2; if you are for hoop 2 your pioneer should be at hoop 3; etc.) and a pivot in the centre with a rush on the fourth ball to your next hoop.
Rush the fourth ball to your hoop. Approach your hoop putting the other ball to the other side of the hoop. Make the hoop and roquet the other ball again. On your croquet shot send it to your next but one hoop to become a new pioneer, sending your ball to the pivot in the middle (e.g. after you have made hoop 1 send a pioneer to hoop 3; after you have made hoop 2 send a pioneer to hoop 4; etc.). Roquet the pivot in the centre and take-off to the ball waiting at your next hoop. Play the break, taking bisques as you need them. Count the number of bisques you need.